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Pipeline protest rally Thursday

When Kinder Morgan pipeline officials arrive for a first-of-its-kind joint meeting Thursday with Franklin Regional Council of Governments and Franklin Regional Planning Board, they’ll be met with a protest of their plans for a natural gas pipeline.

A rally is being planned for the Greenfield Town Common at 5 p.m. “to demonstrate the widespread community opposition and to highlight the dangers to health and safety” of the project, a 179-mile natural gas pipeline that would pass through nine Franklin County towns on its way from Wright, N.Y., to Dracut, north of Lowell.

After a brief rally, those gathered plan to march to the nearby Olver Transit Center, where the COG and planning board plan to host a meeting with representatives from Morgan Energy Partners Public Affairs Director Allen Fore.

Rosemary Wessel of No Fracked Gas in Massachusetts, which is helping to organize the protest, said the purpose is to convey citizen protest against the project, since most of the more than 8,000 areas residents who have signed petitions against the project will not have an opportunity to confront the company at the meeting.

“It’s so our voice gets heard,” she said.

Kinder Morgan, the parent corporation of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., will also be represented at a meeting with the Warwick Selectboard tonight at 7 in Warwick Town Hall.

The proposed pipeline route would also cut through Ashfield, Conway, Deerfield, Montague, Erving, Northfield and Orange.

Because of space limitations and the size of the two regional boards, attendance will be limited to their members and a few public officials who have registered for a waiting list. But the session will be taped by Greenfield Community Television for viewing by those unable to attend.

The day of the meeting was incorrect in a Monday story about the event.

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